Chiropractic is the largest natural health care profession in the world (acupuncture is a distant second). Chiropractors focus on eliminating the cause of health challenges, rather than just covering up the symptoms. Chiropractic is based upon a very powerful premise: problems with the structure of the body – particularly the spine – can cause problems with the function of your body – especially the nervous system.
What separates chiropractic from all other professions is the chiropractic adjustment. An adjustment is a specific movement applied to a spinal joint to restore proper motion and function and eliminate any nerve irritation.
The spinal cord, the main pathway of your nervous system, is located in a canal within the bones of the spine. The spinal cord communicates information from the brain to and from all other systems in the body. This system is called the central nervous system, as it is central to life itself. The brain is protected by the skull. The brain stem, spinal cord and nerve roots are protected by the movable bones of the spine.
A problem in the spine can adversely affect the spinal nerves as they come off the spinal cord. The very thing designed to protect the spinal cord and nerve roots can actually interfere with their proper function, if the bones of the spine are not properly aligned. This is known as a subluxation (misalignment of the spinal bones).
Subluxations can lead to many common disorders including: low back and neck pain, headache, shoulder pain, numbness of the extremities, sciatica, and many other problems. These conditions often result from an irritation or “pinching” of the nerves as they exit the spine and go on to serve other parts of the body.
Nerves exit between the vertebrae very close to the spinal joints. Very small changes from the normal position of the spinal bones can compromise the nerves function.
For example: with many neck conditions, the spinal nerve is often compressed or irritated causing an associated pain, numbing or weakness in the shoulder, arm or hand. By adjusting the associated neck vertebrae, the problem in the extremity can be alleviated. This is also true with conditions such as headaches, where very often, the cause of the headache is an irritation to the nerves in the upper neck.
What is not so obvious is that the spinal nerves connect the brain to all other organs including: the heart, lungs, stomach, kidneys, reproductive organs, etc. A problem in the spine (a subluxation) can cause irritation to the spinal nerve and adversely affect the organ or organ system served by that nerve.
Every tissue, gland and organ in your body is made up of cells. These cells are continually dying off and being replaced by new cells. Your body is in a constant state of regeneration and renewal. As long as your cells replicate normally, you remain healthy. If your cells replicate abnormally, disease and premature death is the result.